Senin, 13 Agustus 2012


Atta Mills burial


Article: Seth J. Bokpe & Zainab Issah

On a day when sorrow conquered many hearts, tears flowed freely unhindered and the sun took cover behind a gloomy sky, his journey to eternal rest began last Wednesday.

While hisbody was moved form the 37 Military Hospitals through his Regimanuel Gray Estate residence to the principal streets of the Christiansburg Castle where the late President J.E.A Mil steered the ‘Yutong Bus called Ghana,’he left behind a trail of spectators in tears as the funeral cortegemoved on.

On the streets of Accra, the red and black clothes pictured the sorrow of Ghanaians.

Finally the hearse touched down at the Banquet Hall of the State House where the late President  was laid in state his infectious smile and high sense of humour gone with the death that snapped his soul.

President Mills might not be charismatic but that which he had not in charisma he made up for in humour.

At the height of the Woyome saga, Mr Martin Amidu who had just released his first of what would later be known as epistles alleged that some ministers were committing ‘gargatuan crimes against the state'.

The word although an English word caught on becoming one of the many word’s in the country’s political lexicon.

When President Mills had the opportunity to address Parliament in his last state of the nation address, not even  members on the minority side in Parliament, who wore red armbands and mourning attire and jeering him  throughout his delivery and the showing of  red cards amid chants of “away, away, away” could stifle his side splitting joke.

Hear him “before I came here I knew I would be heckled because it is the routine, but I didn’t expect this gargantuan heckling.” ‎''Madam Speaker, i must say...this time the heckling was gargantuan," to which the parilamentarians cracked up, breaking the ice of tention-filled floor of parliament.

Remember the Dr Kwabena Adjei, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Chairman’s rave about purging the judiciary in the wake of the string of losses the government suffered in court?

Dr Adjei not-too-happy with the losses rambled ‘‘People in the judiciary can make a very good case look very bad. If the judiciary is biased, if the judiciary has made its mind in one direction, not even Jesus Christ who was appointed as the Attorney General (sic) can change things. We will clean it if they don’t take steps to clean it. We will clean it and let everybody everywhere blame us for interfering in the judiciary and we will take them on. … at the right time, you will see how we clean it. There are many ways to kill a cat.”

The NDC Chairman received the bashing of his life. When the dust settled on the matter and Mr Koby Fiagbe the Editor of the Ghanaians Lens baited the late departed President at a media encounter early this year, asking whether the President had any intention to remove the Chief Justice, Justice Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, as had been speculated in sections of the media, the late President proved that he had his comics gloves on.

President Mills, who had stood throughout the session ostensibly to send a message across about his state of health took a step forward, removed his spectacles and boomed “Stand here and look in my face. Do I look like a cat hunter?”

Not even Dr Adjei, the ministers and the squad of journalist could control their laughter at the humour everybody present burst out in an uncontrollable laughter.

At the same event, Shamima Muslim, a Citi FM news anchor sought to know what kind of a leader President Mills would want to describe himself - charismatic or transformational.

The late President tonned down looked in her direction and responded “We like borrowing words we don’t understand. My simple answer is that whatever I am I have enable Ghanaians to have water, extended roads, removed schools under trees, migrate Ghanaians unto the Single Spine Salary Structure, call it madam what you may”.

During his presidency, one of the things many Ghanaians would respect and remember him for was the fact that he never let go of an opportunity to preach peace.

When the Ivorian political hiccup reached its peak and ECOWAS had reached a decision to launch a military attack on former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo if he failed to relinquish power peacefully, the late President humorously captured his foreign policy on Cote d’voire in three words in his native Fante Language “Dzi Wo Fie Asem” to wit mind your own business.

It was given more than enough airtime in the Ghanaian media and the BBC and attracted a flurry of text messages, some of which were highly venomous. But the good old Professor stuck to his guns and refused to allow the country to be used as a  launch pad for war.

The current Ivorian President who would have later become a beneficiary of such an action would later describe the decision of the late President Mills as “wise”.

 Make fun of the late President Mills and he would reply back in equal measure not with insults but with a rib-wrecking response.

The flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo , caught in the web of campaign euphoria right after he was elected the NPP  flag bearer   referred to President John Evans Atta Mills as ‘Professor Do Little’, saying he has failed Ghanaians.

Prof Mills response, even when some government spokespersons and NDC functionaries had put Nana Akufo-Addo on the chopping board and shredded him was simple and comical.
“Oh thank God he didn't say I am Prof Do Nothing at least he acknowledges that I am doing something,” the late President said characteristic of his response to the numerous political jabs that he received.

When reports from the rumour mill powered by the media traversed media space that the late President’s fund for the NDC flag bearer race was GHC 90 million, President Mills’ long laugh and subsequent reaction, “Ebei” would later become the signature tune of some local programmes.

Like many of us, the late President was not immune to tongue slips. He had a few at state functions and some Ghanaians did not fail to turn those slips into instruments of mockery. They came in T-shirts, ringtones and songs sometimes blaring on radio stations.

‘Ecomini,” the late professor’s gaffe at his first State of the Nation address was one such item that became a mix for some DJs.

When  the late Asomdwehene or King of Peace  as he was affectionately known had the opportunity to respond, it was one that put a smile on some faces.  "Now that the economy has improved, it's
now an economy and not ecomini,"he joked.

That is the man the earth is about to swallow. That is the man death has stolen from us. That is the man whose death seamlessly has held this country together, the first time in the history of this country.
President Mills may your gentle soul rest in peace. President Mills adieu.

Selasa, 07 Agustus 2012


The Managing Director of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Kenneth Ashigbey today joined other dignitaries to sign the book of condolence at the State House for the Late President John Evans Fifi Atta Mills.

He was accompanied by the General Manager of Marketing and Public Affairs, Mr Frank Oduro ,the Procurement Manager, Mr John Tagoe and the Public Relations Officer of GCGL, Mr Albert Sam.
Others were the Chief Executive Officer of Metro TV, Mr Talal Fattal, the General Manager of Optimum Media Prime (OMP), Mr Fadi Fattal, and the Board Chairman of Metro TV, Mr Ernest Asamoah.

The rest are the Chief of Dodowa, Mr Okukrubuor Tei Kwesi Agyemang V, the Chief of Agomeda, Nene Nagai Kasa III and the Chief of Danfa, Nii Afutu Brempong III.

Officials from the security agencies include the Chief Fire Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Brigadal General John Bosco Guyiri, the Acting Director General of Operations of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS), and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Salaga, Alhaji  Dey.


Story By Zainabu Issah

Members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) today at an emergency meeting passed a resolution to rename the new Millennium City School at the Salvation Army Cluster of Schools and the Accra High Street after the late President Mills.

The Salvation Army Cluster of School would now be known as President Evans Atta Mills Educational Centre of Excellence whilst the Accra High Street would form henceforth be called the Evans Atta Mills High Street.

Speaking at the meeting, the Mayor of Accra, Mr Alfred Vanderpuije, said the resolution was in recognition of the late President’s immeasurable contribution to the improvement of social and economic infrastructural facilities within the Accra metropolis.

He reminded the Assembly members of the late President’s provision of easy access and promotion of quality education both at first and second cycle schools.

“We need to remember his desire to improve upon the quality of teaching and learning for students to enhance their academic and social achievements”, he said.

Additionally, the late President had expectation for high standards and his anticipation for the right thing to be done at all times, which resulted in his immense support for the AMA to abolish and eradicate the shift system.

“His tireless effort to removing all managerial, financial and structural challenges confronting education, construction of roads and drains, upgrading of communities and the general development of the Accra metropolis”, he said.

Mr Vanderpuije, however, urged members of the Assembly to always be guided by the principles of the late President and provide infrastructural development to their various communities.

The Presiding Member of the meeting, Mr Desmond NiiAddoBinney, explained that the renaming of the school and street was in accordance with some provisions of the Local Government Act 462.

Some members of the assembly were optimistic that the renaming of the school and street would go a long way to keep the memory of the late President alive in the minds of Ghanaians.

They also opted that all the millennium city schools be named after the late President and also be equipped with the best resources to make it the best schools in the country.


Eighty per cent of all the waste generated in Accra and other African cities are organic waste according to a United Nations Report.

The other components of the tonnes of waste include  10 per cent plastic, glass, and metal waste and less than 12 per cent paper waste per day.

However, most of these waste are not properly collected and disposed in a safe and healthy manner making waste management and disposal a deterrent to economic development.

It is with this background that the Life Bridge 68 Foundation (LB68F) in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the World Bank has launched the sixth edition of Kids against Waste Management, Arts and Craft Competition in Accra under the theme; Trashy Fashion: Fashion With An Impact.

The aim of the competition is to empower school children and the youth to use their creativity to effectively promote good hygiene, effective management of sanitation, and other environmental sustainability issues in the country.

It is also to empower children of schooling age and the youth, especially school dropouts, to use their creativity to promote good sanitation practices, efficient solid waste management, environmental sustainability, wealth creation and cleanliness in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of LB68F, Madam Juliana Arhin, said the participation of children in the competition would challenge them to creatively think of discovering new ways of creating wealth out of trash.

“It is a nationwide project which seeks to solicit the creative thinking minds of children to help sharpen their skills and minds towards a better environment through capacity building, educational symposia, workshops, exhibitions and seminars and national competitions,” she explained.

Also, the project over the years has built the capacity of over 600 children between the ages of 6 to 15 to add value to solid waste materials found in their homes and schools.

Madam Arhin further revealed that since the inception, each region in the country had made use of approximately a quarter tone of waste each year.

“In all, about 12 tones of solid waste materials which would have ended up on the land fill has been recovered and reused by the children,” she added.

Some of the solid waste materials recovered and reused include but not limited to wood, metals, e-waste, plastic wear, rubbers, bottles, papers, cartons and fabrics.

Madam Arhin announced that the LB68F would this year organise 10 regional capacity building and mentoring sessions between the month of August and September and the National Awards to take place in October.

She however called on stakeholders and individual agencies to provide support for the success of the competition.

This, she said, would help to reduce the nationwide waste menace as well as make a meaningful contribution towards economic growth and job creation in the country.

In her address, the Executive Director of Beyond Aid Project, Mrs Jennifer Brock, lauded the foundation for their innovative idea of implementing waste management through children.

She said the accumulation, improper management, treatment and disposal of waste posed a serious threat to environmental quality and public waste in many cities and communities.

These threats, she said, were generated by the lack of awareness regarding the environmental impact of waste and deficient systems for proper waste management and disposal in the country.

She was optimistic that the completion would go a long way to reduce the disposal of waste in the country.

The Deputy Director of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Waste Management Department, Mr Samuel Kpodo, in his remarks said waste could be classified as both useless and useful depending on the individual involved.

He however called on Ghanaians to see the useful aspect of waste products in order to reduce waste as much as possible and also generate revenue out of it.

Present at the launch were some school children who recited poems and sang songs about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling waste.